RELIEF: Dani and Troy Olive, along with their children Cooper, Samuel, Annabelle.
RELIEF: Dani and Troy Olive, along with their children Cooper, Samuel, Annabelle. Dani Olive

'Elated': Much needed rainfall for family who survived fires

DAYS ago Dani Olive's property was charred from the recent bushfires and her water tanks empty.

Her Mount Larcom family believed there was little relief in sight, with nothing to feed their cattle and their fences destroyed.

However, ex-tropical cyclone Owen, combined with a weather system stretching down the east coast, changed that.

Their on-site rain gauge recorded 100mm.

"Our farm was the gateway for the fire going from Ambrose to Mount Larcom," Mrs Olive said.

"We were completely burnt out."

It was a horrific time for Mrs Olive, husband Troy and their three children.

"From the time that I received the alert from emergency services, to the time where the fire was pretty much at our front paddock was 20 minutes," she said.

It was an agonising five-hour wait to see if their property survived.

While firefighters managed to save the house and their cattle, the family did not completely escape the devastation.

"Our damage bill is up there," Mrs Olive said.

"We lost most of our fences, troughs, piping, tanks...all sorts of things."

They also lost feed for the cattle, with hay having to be brought in, and the surviving water tanks for the house were emptied due to contamination, adding pressure to the family budget just before Christmas.

Mrs Olive said she doubted the forecast rain would arrive at her property.

However, everything changed when she witnessed the first heavy drops.

"In 15 minutes, our driveway was like a river," Mrs Olive said.

"We have water everywhere, we have full tanks, and we have the start of green feed coming through for the cattle.

"We're feeling tremendously elated at that."


The Bureau of Meteorology issued the warning on Saturday night, citing "heavy rainfall, which may lead to flash flooding" for residents between Cairns and Hervey Bay.

With ex-tropical cyclone Owen on our doorstep, meteorologist Dean Narramore said the "zombie cyclone" was not the sole cause of the rainfall.

"Most of the rain in Gladstone is the effects of an upper trough moving in from south-eastern Australia, combining with a very moist onshore flow we've seen over the past couple of days," Mr Narramore said.

He also said moisture from the tropical low combined with that upper trough and onshore flow.

Over the weekend, parts of the Gladstone region received rainfall of 25 to 50mm.

But some people on The Observer's Facebook page said they recorded more than 70mm on Saturday alone.

The Gladstone airport rain gauge recorded 33mm on Saturday, with the radar site recording 23mm.

Boyne Island recorded 23mm, but the biggest rainfall in the region was at Calliope, with the Stowe Rd gauge recording 50mm.

Parts of the Banana Region received over 100mm in the same period.

Mt Seaview gauge recorded 113mm of rain, Boolaroo Tops recorded 86mm and Biloela's rain gauge recorded 20mm.

For Mrs Olive and her family, the 100mm of rain added to the overwhelming support she received post-bushfire.

"We've tried to maintain a very positive mindset for our children," she said. "We've had a lot of amazing things happen (since the bushfire)."

One was the opportunity to meet Cowboys and Maroons legend Johnathan Thurston.

"His management had heard about our story...and (Thurston) asked to meet us, so that was huge and amazing thing for the kids to have," Mrs Olive said.

She expressed gratitude to the firefighters who saved their property.

"We thank them from the bottom of our hearts," she said.